Activation Thresholds and Operating Characteristics of Commercial Alarm Products to Provide Surveillance for Dementia Caregivers

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executive function deficits, wayfinding, surveillance, wandering

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Objective: A laboratory evaluation was conducted on selected commercial technologies designed to prevent or manage dementia-related missing incidents from the home. Methods: Fourteen products representing four unique categories (Pressure Activated Systems, Pull Tab Alarms, Audible Alarms, and Optically Activated Alarms) of behavioral management were evaluated under controlled laboratory conditions for: sound pressure levels (dB), power consumption (watts), battery life, and alarm frequency (pitch). Other variables such as activation force and monitoring/tracking capabilities were tested where applicable to the device category. Results: There was wide performance variability regardless of device category, indicating that the devices may fail to successfully capture a missing incident. Implications: The development of standardized protocols for testing devices intended for use in the home setting coupled with a broader evaluation of existing technologies would provide a more complete understanding of which products may manage or inhibit missing incidents in persons with dementia.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Gerontechnology, v. 11, issue 3, p. 480-487